What I didn’t buy at Coles

Contrary to my claims of last week (who’d have thought a few words on the joys of shopping on foot would attract so many comments?!), on Sunday I found myself grocery shopping by car at Coles at Southland. This is because I’d wanted to look for something at K-Mart. It’s one of those trips that would have been by train… if there was a station at Southland.

Unfortunately the designers have laid out the aisles at Coles Southland in a very irritating manner. They’ve gone for an irregular pattern which means you can’t cover everything with the standard sweeping up and down motion. Instead you end up covering some ground more than once — a timewaster.

At Safeway, they have special bulk 1.2Kg boxes of Weetbix, which proclaim “Only available at Safeway and Woolworths”. What they don’t tell you is that at Coles, you can get 1.3Kg boxes of Weetbix instead. I thought we would run out during the week, so picked up a box.

I reached the checkout, and joined the queue. Then I noticed the box of Weetbix wasn’t sealed. It was open. Now, I’m not an overly paranoid person, but in this day and age, it probably pays not to buy something that’s not properly sealed. While I doubt there’d have been any mischief performed on it, having the box already open doesn’t do much for freshness. Rather than go back for another box and give up my place in the queue, I just popped it in someone else’s disused trolley. I’ll get it some another day.

Then as I unpacked the rest of the trolley onto the conveyor belt, I pulled out some potatoes in bag. The top of the bag was open, so I spun the potatoes around, while holding the top. Turned out the bag had a hole in it. Two potatoes jumped out, bounced to the floor, and went rolling at speed underneath one of the other checkouts.


By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

3 replies on “What I didn’t buy at Coles”

re: layout of the aisles in Coles, Southland. I couldn’t agree with you more. A standard up-and-down sweep is not possible, Aaagh!
PS One good thing about Southland. If you have an accident there and end up with a permanent limp, you can tell people you got injured in ‘Nam (Cheltenham, not Vietnam).

If only there was a station.. all it needs is a couple of platforms on either side of the railway line, a station building on each side, an underpass to get from one side to another, and a path / walkway leading to the shops. Simple. But thats all too hard for this government.

On the subject of the layout of Coles at Southland, I can’t remember it exactly as I haven’t been there for over 12 months, but IIRC isn’t it *huge*? When I was there i remember even seeing a dedicated cooking demonstration area. Is it one of the stores where the deli is located as sort of an oversized ‘kiosk’ in the middle of the store, with isles running behind it?

I have been in the local IGA in Yarraville and not only is it uneven (although on a much smaller scale than your bigger markets), I almost felt like I was lost in a maze at one stage and started to feel very claustrophobic. Weirdest layout I have ever seen.

On the subject of potatoes too, is it Safeway that advertises that they are the fresh food people? Hmmmm, me thinks otherwise as I peel umpteen layers off my “green” spuds and chuck out umpteen others which are rotten inside. Kinda hard to check this out when they are inside a bag and all covered in dirt when you purchase. The green I believe occurs when being exposed too long to light which doesn’t really match up with the fresh food advertising which is constantly being rammed down our throats.

I have been shopping most recently at Bi-Lo but whilst they may be cheaper they just don’t have everything that the big guys do. I am getting better though at remembering to take my bags with me and saying no to plastic more often.

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